Buttonhole books

The second book I made at a Chapter II workshop with Margo Klass was the buttonhole book. I really enjoyed making this structure and made a second one at home. I bought more large sheets of toned paper so I can make more.

Decorative papers, painted with acrylics and walnut ink

The cut into the spine, khadi paper

The cut into the spine, glued. Getting ready to reinforce at top and bottom with small squares of bookcloth.

Completed book showing buttonhole stitching on spine

Interior view showing decorative and plain guard sheets, and gray toned text sheets

The second book uses striped paper for the cover and blue painted decorative papers. I used Rosemary’s embossing powder to add some interest to the interior.

Decorative pages, one with a tree stamp and embossing powder

Two buttonhole books, showing covers and spines

Patches and threads

Detail of an intersection of patches. I added a beige strip to the left side of my stitched piece to give the figure there more breathing room. I had to attach some patches to the bottom to make the beige strip long enough. The precise intersection of the green and purple fabrics was a happy accident. The green fabrics in the middle of the photo are from Deb Lacativa’s big bag of dyed scraps.

Detail of water falling from a hose into the purple ground. The white linen thread makes quite effective “water,” stitched over a scrap of dyed thin silk. The thread seeds at left are stitched using Jude Hill’s “thread beads” concept.

Detail of thread smoke rising from the ground. These two loose threads seemed to want to play a part in this composition. They did not ravel loose like other threads detaching from their weave. Rather than clipping them off, I couched them down. They came to represent the innate knowledge that rises from the earth into the mind of the Knower.


I’m working on a project under the guidance of Jude Hill of Spiritcloth in her Patchwork in Perspective course. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and it is a revelation. I enjoy stitching and pairing fabrics but the addition of storytelling and figurative elements is new to me. The story has changed several times since my first gathering of scraps and may change again. More of this to come!

Scrap dyed by Deb Lacativa, stitched with blue metallic thread in a running stitch.

More scraps from Deb, green and purple. A scrap of orange batik purchased at Fiddlehead’s in Belfast, Maine. Silk cotton thread dyed with turmeric ( I think?) and some orange silk thread.

Tiny scraps that appeared on the work table got stitched down. Silk from Beautiful Silks (AU) dyed with natural dyes (woad + indigo?) in Maine. Purple scrap picked up on the ground in India.